'Excited' Gateshead fans arrive at Wembley Stadium ahead of FA Trophy final against Solihull Moors

Excited Gateshead fans are arriving at Wembley Stadium ahead of their teams FA Trophy final clash against Solihull Moors.

As issues around the club's stadium remain unresolved, loyal supporters have made the trip to London today to watch manager Rob Elliot lead his boys out to the hallowed turf of the national stadium, just a year after they last reached the final. And fans who have travelled to the capital for this afternoon's game have shared their excitement with the Chronicle.

One supporter, called Damian, said: "I'm feeling very confident, I reckon it's a 3-1 win today like, the lads have got to do it's about redemption."

And his friend Kev added: They've had a taste of it already and now it's the only thing to play for with everything that's going on so I fancy them today."

Another support called Sam added: "We're here for the FA Trophy final against Solihull and the atmosphere is great, it's a lovely day and it's going to be a tough match with how close we were in the league. But with them losing last Sunday, and with Gateshead having the trouble in the playoffs, we have an extra fire under us to prove something today, so I think it's going to be close, maybe 1-0."

Brothers Nathan and Thomas have travelled to the game with their dad, Damian. Thomas said: "It's canny good to be here, we need the win after last year so hopefully we do it."

And Nathan added: "I feel excited for the match, it's going to be a good one but it's going to be competitive."

Martin, who made the trip to Wembley with his friend James, is also looking forward to an entertaining match.

"I'm feeling good, I think we're in good form so I think it's going to be a good game really," he said. "I think 2-2 and then hopefully we do it on penalties."

James added: "We're in good form, but it'll be a good game. You always want to win the final whatever the case but there will be something extra, 1-1 and then again a penalty shootout win."

After some great performances across this competition, Gateshead find themselves back in the final, with some memorable results to look back on. Their route to Wembley started off with a 5-1 third round win away at Rochdale, before they beat Weston-Super-Mare 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

The fifth round saw the Heed win 1-0 away at Hereford, and a narrow 3-2 win at home to Peterborough sports followed.

The semi-final was at home to Macclesfield, and Gateshead won 2-1 in order to make it back to Wembley and another cup final.

And the Heed Army will be hoping today's result can bring some good news to their club after a tumultuous few weeks. Gateshead were denied the chance to compete in the National League play-offs because of an ongoing dispute over the lease on the Gateshead International Stadium.

After they had secured their place in the top seven of the National League, a statement released by the National League on April 21 said that a leasing issue over the ground had brought a halt to the Heed’s plans for the play-offs.

EFL regulations require member clubs to have a ten-year security of tender in place on their home stadium.

Gateshead Council has offered assurances that the club would be granted the 10-year-lease if promoted, but uncertainty over the venue’s future was deemed to be too great by football authorities, with the council in the process of seeking a new operator to take over the stadium in an effort to cut costs.

Club chairman Neil Pinkerton said this week: “The situation is at an impasse, but we have not exhausted all avenues and we want to make sure that we do so.

“It has been great to see the support from fans and we have been quite overwhelmed by the attention we have received both nationally and worldwide.

“I think that the situation can definitely be translated into a positive as we look ahead to Wembley, which is something that we have been talking about internally. Of course we won’t let the situation settle and want to do all that we can, but it is important that we don’t look at the FA Trophy as a consolation prize and ultimately we want to settle it on the pitch.”

Gateshead Council Service Director Michael Lamb said: “Whilst the announcement by the league is extremely regrettable and we understand the club’s disappointment, our priority is to ensure that we can provide sustainable and accessible leisure services for all our communities.

“We remain committed to working with all interested parties to achieve a positive resolution and will continue to advocate for the success of Gateshead Football Club.”